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ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENT FOR BALANCE DISORDERS FOLLOWING WHIPLASH INJURY

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In this study, by means of computerized static posturography, we evaluated the postural changes after acupuncture treatment in a group of 15 patients with balance disorders caused by cervical torsion due to Whiplash Injury (WI). The acupuncture treatment consisted of 3 sessions (one weekly session for 3 weeks) during which the acupuncture points Bladder 10 (BI.10) and Gall Bladder 20 (G.B.20). VB were stimulated by means of piercing with needles, and manipulating the needles for 20 seconds. Each patient underwent posturographic evaluations before and just after each session of acupuncture. The posturographic tests were performed with open eyes (OE), closed eyes (CE) and closed eyes with retroflexed head (CER). As a control group, we used 17 patients complaining of the same symptoms as the study group due to WI, but treated with drugs (FANS and myorelaxing) and physiotherapy only. The patients of the control group also underwent posturographic tests once a week for three weeks. We observed a significant difference between the two groups regarding the reduction of the CER Length of the statokinesigram just before each session of acupuncture and reduction of the frequency oscillations (FFT) of the patients on the sagittal plane in the study group, in CER, whereas in the control group we observed a progressive increase in these values. The high percentage of positive results in our WI patients leads us to advocate the therapeutic efficacy of acupuncture for balance disorders due to cervical pathology, where it can be associated with or be a valid alternative to pharmacological treatment.
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Keywords: Acupuncture; Cervical Vertigo; Posturography; Whiplash Injury

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: E.N.T. Clinic, University of Pisa, 10 via Savi, 56100 PISA, Italy 2: 3rd Dept. of Anesthesiology, St. Chiara Hospital, 56100 PISA, Italy 3: Dept. of Public Health and Biostatistics, Institute of Clinical Physiology of the National Centre for Research, 41 via Trieste, 56100 PISA, Italy 4: 3 via Pomaia, MASSAROSA-LUCCA, Italy

Publication date: 01 January 1996

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